Beleaguered bank announces 3,700 in job cuts

Business banking news review: week ending 14 Feb 2013

Things just keep getting worse and worse for Barclays, as the beleaguered banking institution announced it would be sacking 3,700 employees sometime soon.

Citing concerns over its bloated investment banking arm, the personal and business bank account provider says it will be lightening its load by 3,700 employees. 1,800 positions will be eliminated from the investment bank alone, while the rest of the pink slip will be going to Barclay’s European branches.

Just before the torches and pitchforks were issued to Brits across the country, the bank was quick to say that UK retail and business banking staff would be relatively unscathed. What that means is anyone’s guess, especially in light of how much Barclays has been losing in profits; while the bank made something like nearly £6 billion in 2011, the following year saw its profits shrink to a paltry £246 million in comparison, prompting Anthony Jenkins, Barclays’ chief executive, to call for change both within Barclays and in the general banking sector.

2012 was one of the most difficult years on record for Barclays and other High Street banks, said Mr Jenkins. The chief executive blamed a banking sector that has become simply too interested in its own goals and has devolved into an overly aggressive and isolated lot, disconnected from the outside world and placing too much emphasis on short-term gains instead of long-term stability and doing right by their customers.

It will be absolute years before Barclays repairs its tarnished reputation, added Mr Jenkins. He thanked customers for their patience and their loyalty, adding that he was pushing to revamp the way the bank conducted business. Reducing the bonus pool accordingly in order to mirror the performance of Barclays over the past year was one of the decisions made that could eventually lead the bank back into the good graces of its customers, hopes the chief executive.

Mr Jenkins himself declared last week that he wasn’t even taking a penny of his £1 million bonus. He argued that he bore a measure of responsibility for the right mess that Barclays found itself in.

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